We’ve never attended a masked ball before, except during that one episode of Gossip Girl. And technically that was vicariously through the television, but whatever. So when we got the chance to attend “Mascherata Veneziana” at Rialto in Cambridge, we jumped at the chance. Owned by Boston celebu-chef Jody Adams, Rialto has been called everything from “one of the world’s best hotel restaurants” by Gourmet to simply “one of the country’s best restaurants” by Esquire Magazine. So you can understand why we were so eager to catch a free meal at such a highly-rated hotspot. While guests weren’t exactly in ballgowns, many were sporting the traditional Venetian masks that gave the party its theme. But the masquerade wasn’t simply a chance to host a good party; It was actually a benefit for the Greater Boston Food Bank, hosted by the bank’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” a group of young professionals who come together to host a series of fun events to benefit the organization.
The beginning of the brittle cold weather is the perfect time for an event to eliminate hunger. This winter, thousands of people in our community will have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families. The GBFB’s slogan of “Heat or Eat?” really demonstrates how vital the food bank’s existence is, especially during a recession. We had a chance to talk with Food Bank President and CEO Catherine D’Amato, after we may have accidentally cut her in the wine line. She expressed how proud she is of her volunteers. And the guests were thrilled as well. Crab cakes with cheese circulated the floor, along with mozzarella and basil, ring shaped butternut squash garnished with pomegranate, and goat cheese wrapped in deliciously grilled eggplant. The food was so scrumptious it’s easy to forget the reason the party was being held: To help those in need during troubled times. So give a can of food, give an hour of your time, or just give a buck or two. Because when the decision is to “Heat or Eat,” nobody should have to make a choice.
[Photo: Megan Johnson]